TROY, NY — It’s hard to believe that just more than a month ago, the Albany Devils were looking for more balanced scoring. At the start of the season, the line of Scott Timmins, Joe Whitney and Reid Boucher were responsible for the majority of the goals.
The Devils lineup has been altered because of injuries and call ups. Timmins has missed the last 10 games with a lower-body ailment and Reid Boucher, Eric Gelinas, Cam Janssen, Jon Merrill and Tim Sestito are in New Jersey.
Whether out of necessity or synergy, Albany has used a well-rounded offensive assault to win eight of its last 11 games and has earned at least one point in nine of those contests.
“I think it’s a bit of everyone being on the same page,” said captain Rod Pelley. “Our system allows guys to get in on the forecheck to create offense. To a lot of guys credit, everyone is chipping in and it’s a lot easier to win hockey games when you come to the rink knowing different lines are going to chip in every night. That’s something that at the beginning of the year might have been lacking. We relied on the top line to do most of the scoring. Everyone wants to score and contribute, so its nice to see that.”
During the last two games, the Devils have combined for 14 goals. They tied a franchise record, netting eight against Bridgeport on Nov. 30 and followed with six against first-place Springfield Wednesday.
“We are getting better at our systems,” Whitney said. “We are working more as a five-man unit. That creates offense. When you play good defense, you create good offense. That’s what we’ve been doing and we’ve been capitalizing on some chances. We could have had a couple of more this weekend as well.”
So far, Albany has netted 69 goals and their 3.14 goals for per game ranks eighth in the league. At this pace, the Devils will finish the season with 239 goals, which would tie the 2009-10 team for goals in a season. The only difference, the AHL was an 80-game league in 2009-10, compared to 76 games since 2011-12.
The Devils, who are second in the Northeast Division with a 13-7-1-1 record, have Friday night off for the first time since the first week of the season. Their opponent Saturday, the Binghamton Senators, hosts the Hershey Bears Friday.
Riley Boychuk, Artem Demkov, Mike Hoeffel, Stefan Matteau, Chris McKelvie, Rod Pelley, Harri Pesonen, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Scott Timmins, Joe Whitney, David Wohlberg, Darcy Zajac, Kelly Zajac